Push-off with the back leg???

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August 1, 2008 9:22 AM

There's been alot of talk lately about MLB hitters pushing off from the ground with the back leg....

Where's the push-off from the ground with the back leg?..I don't see it...

Looks like the back foot is being dragged forward to me...

If there is a push-off with the back leg, the back toe would be dug in, not being dragged up and forward and even getting airborne........

Now, something is pushing/pulling the backside, but, I sure don't see a push-off from the ground....

I see the back toe being pulled, instead...




 
Last edited August 1, 2008 10:15 AM
 
 
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August 1, 2008 9:27 AM

There are lot of things you do not see!!!!
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 10:40 AM

I don't see it either.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 11:24 AM

You don't see it because you don't do it. Same as pitching. Anyone who says you do is lacking knowledge.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 12:41 PM

The back leg push is just one other style of hitting.

The real power generation is the cantilever effect of the upper body.

This even allows a one legged batter to hit reasonably.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 12:50 PM

The last clip I believe shows a push. Watch the knee it will load. I believe that this is what is being described as a back leg push.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 1:11 PM

I don't pretend to know a lot about hitting, but I am an engineer. A body at rest does not magically start moving forward as all of these video clips show....so tell me how does this happen....
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 1:25 PM

A batter in his stance is not a body at rest.

The stance establishes an amount of potential energy.

The most efficient direction of that potential energy would be downward, as affected by gravity.

The swing employs a certain amount of motion established by the hips which due to string tension causes the bat head to travel in a somewhat circular path.
 
Last edited by Quincy August 1, 2008 2:34 PM
 
 
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August 1, 2008 2:24 PM

quote:
Originally posted by BlueDog:
There's been alot of talk lately about MLB hitters pushing off from the ground with the back leg....

Where's the push-off from the ground with the back leg?..I don't see it...

Looks like the back foot is being dragged forward to me...

If there is a push-off with the back leg, the back toe would be dug in, not being dragged up and forward and even getting airborne........

Now, something is pushing/pulling the backside, but, I sure don't see a push-off from the ground....

I see the back toe being pulled, instead...








Blue,

I push with my back leg from the time my front foot hits the ground until my belly button gets to the direction of the blow. Once the hands start forward after the elbow slots, the back leg will be pulled forward from the power of rotation. The more the up swing or the more out front the ball is struck (either or) will dictate how far the back foot will move and in what direction. I believe Lee and Pujols both do what I do. As far as Mays goes, the combination of and upward swing, inside pitch and his big lunge or dive forward caused his foot to leave the ground that much in the clip shown, IMO. I can't tell much from the clip of Manny, since it is later in the swing before it starts. I believe you can push, pull, or turn your hips open, some even use a combination of two or all three of those.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 2:39 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Quincy:
A batter in his stance is not a body at rest.

The stance establishes an amount of potential energy.



crazy Huh......It is obvious you do not understand physics. OK I will simplify this.

Any movement of a batter (body at rest) has to be offset by a force that must be applied through his feet.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 2:39 PM

There is no pushing with the back leg. What it does do is collapse slighly to set up support for the upper body rotation. It is similsr to pitching. The back foot is pulled fprward by the hip rotation. To try and leave it back would impede the hips.
If the back leg pushed it would make it hard to hit a ball and the upper body would lung foward instead of staying back.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 2:44 PM

I agree with BOF. The feet stay planted as much as possible to create the base for the rotation of the upper body. The lower body is a stablizer or folcrum around which the upper body is developing max force . Yes there will be some movement but no pushing.
The force applied to the feet is the counter reaction to the rotation of the upper body.
 
Last edited by BobbleheadDoll August 1, 2008 2:45 PM
 
 
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August 1, 2008 3:37 PM

quote:
Originally posted by BobbleheadDoll:
There is no pushing with the back leg. What it does do is collapse slighly to set up support for the upper body rotation. It is similsr to pitching. The back foot is pulled fprward by the hip rotation. To try and leave it back would impede the hips.
If the back leg pushed it would make it hard to hit a ball and the upper body would lung foward instead of staying back.




I push with my back leg, it is after the hips start to open and as the front leg starts to firm up and the glute helps to pull the hips around. The front leg being on the ground and solid, keeps the body from moving forward. If you push a person on a swing, the swingset doesn't move but the swing moves around the bar to which it is attached. It is the same principal. If your hips stayed closed, you would move forward even if both feet were on the ground. This is how many young hitters start out and have to be taught to use their hips.

Tim Lincicum pushes with his back leg early and late, most just push late (if they push) to get over their front leg and to complete the hip turn. Some people characterize this as "the hips thrusting backwards". IMO, one hip does, but the other thrusts forward. Many Lefties don't complete this back hip thrust and that is why they don't usually throw as hard and why they have so much natural tail on their fastball.
 
Last edited by powertoallfields August 6, 2008 12:58 PM
 
 
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August 1, 2008 6:23 PM

OK this is getting dangerous - a pitching guy wallowing with the hitters. I am going to go with PTOF as far as explainations of what is going on. I can add some physics and see if it makes sense.

The guy who taught my son to hit always said.

1. Hit off a firm front foot.
2. Hips lead the swing and create power.

Now if all of this is true and PTOF is correct then the physics would work as follows:

Looking down from above on a right handed hitter the swing MUST be initiated with the rear foot which would drive the right front hip to accelerate, this is the only way to initiate the swing as this is the only place the force can be applied to get the hip moving. The left front hip then is rotating back against the front foot which has to be pushing back otherwise the whole body goes into forward motion. The forces would have to be equal and opposite to generate rotation and if one is less than the other then the body begins to move in the direction of the lesser force. (if you assume a symetrical body)

Obviously there is all kinds of other stuff going on but the basic physics have to be as I have described as there is no other way to get the hips moving.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 7:21 PM

The bottom up approach is great if the batter is swinging upwards.

A good swing takes advantage of the raised bat and casts it down through the zone.

A batter can apply all the movements of the swing (weight shift, swing and hip turn) while standing on one leg.
 
 
 
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August 1, 2008 11:36 PM

quote:
(weight shift, swing and hip turn) while standing on one leg.




Weight shift if he jumps up, back, or forward. You can certainly swing and turn your hips while standing on one leg, but weight shift??? From where to where?
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 12:31 AM

On one leg, weight shift can be felt from shoulder to shoulder.

Afterall, the machinations of the swing have the sole objective of producing bat speed.

Keeping the swing simple to its most productive movements creates the quickest swing to perform as well as producing the most bat speed.

If you are pushing with your back leg, you are performing in a more linear style. Though effective quite often with adequate hip turn, it takes longer to perform the swing.

There are many styles to swing a bat, some take more time, some produce more bat speed.
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 12:36 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Quincy:
On one leg, weight shift can be felt from shoulder to shoulder.

Afterall, the machinations of the swing have the sole objective of producing bat speed.

Keeping the swing simple to its most productive movements creates the quickest swing to perform as well as producing the most bat speed.

If you are pushing with your back leg, you are performing in a more linear style. Though effective quite often with adequate hip turn, it takes longer to perform the swing.

There are many styles to swing a bat, some take more time, some produce more bat speed.




So...what would you say Mays is doing?
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 12:38 AM

Mays is using a linear style. His entire body is moving on a line to contact with the addition of hip turn.
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 12:41 AM

quote:
If you are pushing with your back leg, you are performing in a more linear style. Though effective quite often with adequate hip turn, it takes longer to perform the swing.




Since I am reading the pitch while pushing with my back leg. How can it be taking longer? I am also creating more stretch between upper and lower body...which creates more batspeed.
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 12:44 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Quincy:
Mays is using a linear style. His entire body is moving on a line to contact with the addition of hip turn.




I agree! He is creating his momentum with a push forward and then turns his hips by stopping his momentum with a bent, open, front knee and then completes the turn with a locking of the front knee.
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 12:48 AM

If you are pushing with your back leg, you are apparently moving forward. If you are reading the pitch while moving forward, you have already committed your swing to a certain area that must be adjusted on the 'fly'. This leads to less than good contact, if any at all, most often when large adjustment is called for.

Creating stretch and potential energy at this point is too late in the process since the bat head is already committed by the forward movement.

It would be similar to standing upright in the stance and then dipping your hips only to raise them again.

A 'downhill' swing is far more efficient.
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 1:03 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Quincy:
If you are pushing with your back leg, you are apparently moving forward. If you are reading the pitch while moving forward, you have already committed your swing to a certain area that must be adjusted on the 'fly'. This leads to less than good contact, if any at all, most often when large adjustment is called for.

Creating stretch and potential energy at this point is too late in the process since the bat head is already committed by the forward movement.

It would be similar to standing upright in the stance and then dipping your hips only to raise them again.

A 'downhill' swing is far more efficient.




No, my back hip is moving forward, but my head and body do not.

If you are not pushing with your back leg...you will be spinning on your back toe and will get only half use of your legs as a power producer.

I don't know of any power hitters that have a downward swing nor can I think of any good MLB hitters that swing down to the ball. Maybe down to the plane and then up, but that is a product of where they start their hands in their pre-swing.
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 1:12 AM

The swing process is only to the 'plane' of contact.

Once the bat enters that 'plane', the control phase of the swing is over. Just holding the bat during hip turn will produce additional bat speed in the bat's circular path.

Swing the bat to just in front of your body and add hip turn. You will feel the bat speeding up in your hands. This is what is described by the term 'turning on a pitch'.

With the popular swing styles used today, batters who exercise good hip turn will hit the ball foul for a good distance.
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 1:22 AM

I understand the swing that you are describing. I used that swing in stick ball to hit balls on roofs. Stick ball bats were not end heavy as bats are.

Because the weight of the bat head assists in creating bat speed, swinging up is less effective.
 
 
 
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August 2, 2008 10:42 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Quincy:
I understand the swing that you are describing. I used that swing in stick ball to hit balls on roofs. Stick ball bats were not end heavy as bats are.

Because the weight of the bat head assists in creating bat speed, swinging up is less effective.




It's a good thing Ted Williams and Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds didn't know that.
 
 
 
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August 3, 2008 12:18 AM

quote:
Originally posted by powertoallfields:
quote:
Originally posted by Quincy:
I understand the swing that you are describing. I used that swing in stick ball to hit balls on roofs. Stick ball bats were not end heavy as bats are.

Because the weight of the bat head assists in creating bat speed, swinging up is less effective.




It's a good thing Ted Williams and Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds didn't know that.


Hahahaha Smile

Ditto.
 
 
 
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August 3, 2008 7:53 AM

"The only difference between the baseball swing and the golf swing is the stride."

- Babe Ruth

Nothing about the back leg.

I never played stick ball with Williams, Ruth or Bonds.
 
 
 
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August 3, 2008 10:08 AM

quote:
If you are not pushing with your back leg...you will be spinning on your back toe and will get only half use of your legs as a power producer.

I think a clarification is in order, here...

I'm thinking you can push with the back leg with the glutes, hams and other muscles and not push-off the ground....

What I'm talking about is a push-off with the back leg from the ground...That is what I don't see happening....

I don't see the back foot being involved in the push....I see it being pulled up and forward....And, in some cases, sideways...



 
Last edited by BlueDog August 3, 2008 11:23 AM
 
 
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August 3, 2008 12:51 PM

quote:
....the weight of the bat head assists in creating bat speed, swinging up is less effective.

I agree.....

Another reason I don't believe the back foot pushes off the ground....

The bat barrel is dropping when the back foot would have to be pushing...
 
Last edited by BlueDog August 3, 2008 12:56 PM
 
 
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August 3, 2008 1:37 PM

quote:
Originally posted by BlueDog:
quote:
If you are not pushing with your back leg...you will be spinning on your back toe and will get only half use of your legs as a power producer.

I think a clarification is in order, here...

I'm thinking you can push with the back leg with the glutes, hams and other muscles and not push-off the ground....

What I'm talking about is a push-off with the back leg from the ground...That is what I don't see happening....

I don't see the back foot being involved in the push....I see it being pulled up and forward....And, in some cases, sideways...







I agree that Chipper does not push with his back leg at the end of his swing, but he is riding his back leg while he closes his hips and as they start to open. He starts with closed hips and strides open, so the momentum of his hips help to pull his back leg through, but he has to be pushing against the ground to start the opening since all of his weight is on that leg. His arm action helps to keep his weight back and to keep his stretch until the last moment.

Chipper also closes his upper body more than most hitters and that momentum adds to the pulling of his back side and that is an addition to his power source. Also, it would be interesting to see a line drive swing and see where his back foot goes. It may be the same, but I would think it wouldn't come as far off the ground.
 
 
 
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August 3, 2008 1:44 PM

quote:
The bat barrel is dropping when the back foot would have to be pushing...




Yep! The bathead is falling while he is striding.

From the time the hips get to open until contact the bat path is up in Chippers swing. IMO, the weight and direction of the bathead (down and back, to start the swing), helps to keep the weight back and keep the stretch as long as possible and will also help with batspeed. The path to the ball however is up and through, not down and through.
 
Last edited by powertoallfields August 3, 2008 1:47 PM
 
 
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August 3, 2008 3:56 PM

I've tried to stay out of discussion since...

My 2 cents, I've never taught a player to push off of their back foot. In hitting, I never thought about it. Is there some resistance? Sure, and the same as walking or ... However, I think that purposly thinking push off is similar to those other "thoughts" that impede the swing process.

Long story short. One of my Dads brought in an instructor in the winter/spring of 2006. The Dad owns a barn and our team hits there every winter. One primary point this guy brought in was the push off. I've never had so much trouble getting the players back into a groove AND my team never got off to such a poor start.

I want you to think about this. Take the move Elvis used when he was on stage. Now, use that comparison to the front knee pointing in or hip load and then, the rear knee following. Use that mental image and look at some pro video. Now try it. You won't feel yourself push off the back foot AND you will be very quick with the hips.

Some video for this discussion and I'll take a hike again. It is refreshing to see a good discussion without all of the attacks. Thanks, I appreciate that.

Bonds:



Edmonds:





Pujos:



Lee:

 
 
 
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August 3, 2008 5:07 PM

quote:
Originally posted by CoachB25:
I've tried to stay out of discussion since...

My 2 cents, I've never taught a player to push off of their back foot. In hitting, I never thought about it. Is there some resistance? Sure, and the same as walking or ... However, I think that purposly thinking push off is similar to those other "thoughts" that impede the swing process.

Long story short. One of my Dads brought in an instructor in the winter/spring of 2006. The Dad owns a barn and our team hits there every winter. One primary point this guy brought in was the push off. I've never had so much trouble getting the players back into a groove AND my team never got off to such a poor start.

I want you to think about this. Take the move Elvis used when he was on stage. Now, use that comparison to the front knee pointing in or hip load and then, the rear knee following. Use that mental image and look at some pro video. Now try it. You won't feel yourself push off the back foot AND you will be very quick with the hips.

Some video for this discussion and I'll take a hike again. It is refreshing to see a good discussion without all of the attacks. Thanks, I appreciate that.

Bonds:



Edmonds:





Pujos:



Lee:





Coach,

I actually teach the "Elvis" move, but I teach to use the big toe and pad of the big toe to push off of to get the knees moving. The front knee moves the hips closed and the back knee moves them back forward. Once the bat is in position to go forward and the hips are fully open, I teach to punch the back knee in the direction of the hit. Now...I guess that can be characterized as pushing with the glutes, hamstrings or pulling with them.

Here is how I teach hip rotation; I put a 5 gallon bucket between the hitters' legs between them and the plate and have them touch the bucket with their knees, front first and then back while turning their hips. If you do this drill, you will feel the pressure on the big toe and pad of the front toe and you will also realize that the knee had to pinch in and toward the plate to reach the bucket. This drill needs to be done without the head or body moving backwards or forwards. It has been very successful for me.
 
 
 
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August 3, 2008 6:14 PM

powertoallfields, sounds like you're very close to what I teach. The exception then is that I think that the hips etc. follow the middle or core. I see how you can say what you want you hitter to feel after going out and doing it with the bucket. I'd suggest that you accomplish what you want. Still, and this is just my opinion, that same result might be gained from associating one knee "chasing" another. Please don't get me wrong on your drill. I do see very postitive things from it and would suggest that if you could find the right size buckets, it'd be great for all ages.

I'd ask you here if you've ever tried the playground ball? It is more of a presure on the ball with the knees and then, at some point, naturally, the ball will drop. I don't do this with them holding a bat to make sure that they are working on that issue. I guess you might deduce that in our hitting sessions, we break things dow a lot. I am guilty of overcoaching and I know it. I've tried to do better. Bluedog, are we similar or far apart on this. Also, I know you have some great stuff on this concept. Any you like OR potential pitfalls from these ideas?
 
Last edited by CoachB25 August 3, 2008 6:16 PM
 
 
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August 3, 2008 8:26 PM

quote:
Bluedog, are we similar or far apart on this.

Coach, we are similar.....

I don't use props, though....Just a kid and a bat.... Smile

And, I do believe the core muscles move the hips.....Not a push-off from the ground....
 
Last edited by BlueDog August 3, 2008 8:39 PM
 
 
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August 4, 2008 5:51 AM

The "push" happens at the back hip during front hip c0ck. You can't "see" this in the Lee clip because his front leg is already near peak knee lift.

Look at the clip of Edmonds. Both of his hips are pushing against each other. His front hip resists rotation by turning the front knee inward. The front leg opens/uncocks and the "push" from the rear hip offsets the hips for complete "rotation" of the hips to follow if he so chooses to swing at the pitch.

 
Last edited by XV August 4, 2008 5:52 AM
 
 
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August 4, 2008 8:08 AM

quote:
Originally posted by XV:
The "push" happens at the back hip during front hip c0ck. You can't "see" this in the Lee clip because his front leg is already near peak knee lift.

Look at the clip of Edmonds. Both of his hips are pushing against each other. His front hip resists rotation by turning the front knee inward. The front leg opens/uncocks and the "push" from the rear hip offsets the hips for complete "rotation" of the hips to follow if he so chooses to swing at the pitch.





I agree and the back leg pushes/resists until the front heel touches and the bat starts to the ball. It is also what initiates the weight shift in my swing and what I teach, from 95% to 100% back leg to 50% both legs. It is the stretching of the rubberband. The rest of the weight shift is done by rotation and the "punch" at the end with the back knee (which uses the glutes, quads, core, hamstrings, lats).
 
Last edited by powertoallfields August 4, 2008 8:20 AM
 
 
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August 4, 2008 10:21 AM

What you are seeing is an adjustment to the ball coming inj not a push. The stride which I always had a big one but most teach to have a short one requires a shift and the back leg colapses slightly.
Once the front leg is down it just rotates as does the back foot. I always had as little lower body movement after striding as it set up the stable support of my upperbody as I swung the bat Too much movement makes it hard to make proper contact which is the most important thing when hitting a ball.
The back leg reacts to the force applied to the ball. The front leg is stationary and forms a 45% angle after impact giving you max power.
If you push off the back leg you will have problems with contact. The weight of the body is kept back.
Sounds a lot like pitching to me.

Tim doesn't push off the ribber. He has an abnormal stride wiich is 129% of his body height compared to most who are usually 77-85% of their height.
 
 
 
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August 4, 2008 11:00 AM

quote:
Tim doesn't push off the ribber. He has an abnormal stride wiich is 129% of his body height compared to most who are usually 77-85% of their height.




What makes him move forward??? If you don't want to call it a push then okay, but he is putting pressure on his back foot while keeping his weight back as long as possible. You can't stride without pushing off on your back foot...period. Your weight must be transfered to your front foot and the second you lift your front foot, the weight gets transfered to your back foot.

Below is a direct quote from Tim Lincecum.


"That just came naturally," Tim says. "My dad always told me to sit down on my back leg as long as I could and push off as much as I could. I'm trying to get as much out of my body as possible. I've got to use my ankles, my legs, my hips, my back. . . . That's why I'm so contorted and it looks like I'm giving it full effort when it's not exactly full effort."


I agree! Pitching and hitting mechanics are very, very close.
 
 
 
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